Almost everyone expresses initial disappointment to learn that the Palm VII cannot, in fact, surf the Web wirelessly. You can’t write in any old web address and jump to the corresponding web site. (For that purpose, you’ll need a standard Palm modem, wireless modem, or Qualcomm pdQ SmartPhone, plus a web browser like ProxiWeb, as described in Chapter 14.)
The reason: downloading full web pages is slow, clunky, and unsatisfying on the tiny Palm screen, violating every principle that made the PalmPilot a success. (The built-in wireless transmitter runs at only 8Kbps per second; the standard desktop modem runs seven times faster.) More to the point, web surfing would be massively expensive; downloading a single web page can involve the transfer of 100KB or more—an unforgivable expenditure when your limit is 50KB per month.
Palm Computing solved the problem ingeniously: selected web pages, designed specifically for use on the small Palm screen, you can preload onto your PalmPilot via HotSync. These mini-web pages are complete with grayscale graphics, layout, blanks, pop-up menus, and so on. All they lack is the actual data that makes a web page useful. (See Figure 16.5 for an example.)
Thanks to this scheme, you can harness the Web for what it’s really good for—delivering up-to-the-minute information — while transmitting and receiving practically no data at all. Because the web pages are already on the Palm VII, no graphics, frames, Java, tables, ads, or blinking ...